Omega: How do spirits differ from ghosts? Do spirits haunt places or live in places?
Tony: People often get very confused by ghosts and spirits. For me, the spirit is somebody who has lived a life, passed before us, and is drawn back to the world often by a reciprocal love pull.
If a daughter has lost a mother, that communication is possible because mom still loves her daughter and the daughter still loves her mom. So there's a need on both sides. The medium sits in the middle and serves that need.
Ghosts are, invariably, memories and atmospheres trapped in a space. People talk about going to a very old space, such as a castle, or an old house, and if they're sensitive, they are aware of maybe a man on the stairs.
I thought for a long time that the man must get bored, standing on the same stairs for a hundred years! But what it actually is, is an extreme emotion that was expressed at some point. The man may have been incredibly excited, incredibly sad, or incredibly happy. His atmosphere ultimately, in a sense, stained the space and that emotion is now held there in space and time. As a sensitive we can go into those spaces and it's like a play being repeated time and time again.
For example, I was invited to a public house near where I live. They had a story of a lady in white who walked across the land at the stroke of midnight. I sat in this space, and, closing my eyes, I became aware of that lady. I saw her go to the next room, reach down into a crib and pick up a baby that had passed over. She walked back along the path and then it felt as if the thought just disappeared.
I was very much aware that this happened a long time ago, that it wasn't still happening. Many years ago a young woman had found a dead baby and the degree of her grief had literally stained the atmosphere. I think people could describe her as a ghost, but I now know that she passed with a child in the spirit world many years ago.
People buy into this idea that it’s scary and that the spirit is still there, but it's not. I think the atmosphere is still there—that's my understanding of what a ghost is.
Omega: What are spirits doing on the other side when they are not watching us or communicating with us? How do they spend their days?
Tony: It dawned on me during a workshop about a year ago that if we truly are mediums, it's not enough just to say your mother’s here. It's not enough to keep everything in the past tense and say, "She wore this and she did that."
If a mother is truly alive and living somewhere, she must still be doing things. She must be watching things in our world and hanging out with people she once loved.
I think these elements are very much what spirit wants to bring us, but the mind of the medium often excludes that level of detail because within our training we’re taught to say more things about them to bring proof to those in the living world.
I now know that there is a point where there is enough proof and the medium’s mind can then look to other creative influences of spirit. I'm now looking at what spirits do in the other world. Sometimes it comes, and sometimes it doesn't.
I was working with a lady whose husband was 55. He had just passed and his name was Jim. It was clear and real, and she was emotional. I thought I had the confidence then to ask the spirit, “What do you do now?” And these thoughts came: In the spirit world, he's got a motorbike and he's driving through the Grand Canyon.
The woman said to the audience, “My husband was a biker. We're quite a poor family. His dream was to ride his bike through the Grand Canyon. We could never afford to go."
He may not strictly be doing that in the spirit world, but I think that is the essence of his experience in the spirit world. I think spirits can visit our world and do the things they still want to do. The things they do, or want us to know they do, are representative of the things they loved to do when they were here. I think that’s neat.
If somebody loves to swim, they get to do that in the spirit world. If they like to make cake, I’m sure they could do that in the spirit world. And if that's not the case, then I'm not sure I want to go! But I think it’s true. I think it's an extension of this life on a good day.
Omega: What are your thoughts on spirits visiting us in our dreams?
Tony: One of the ways spirit can communicate directly to us is when we're in a more unconscious state (such as a dream state), when we're going to sleep, or when we're waking up. We can absolutely encounter spirit people around us because the unconscious mind is more gentle and less analytical.
People have had dreams where they've been with their dad. They've danced with him and they look him straight in the face and then wake up. Those experiences are far more than dreams; they are real experiences that our spirit has while our physical body is sleeping. I believe they're valid and should be looked forward to.